Leaf Erikson walks us track-by-track through his new record, 'Monumentum'

click to enlarge Leaf Erikson walks us track-by-track through his new record, 'Monumentum' (2)
Courtesy of Leaf Erikson
Detroit rapper Leaf Erikson recently teamed up with producer Dakim for the release of Monumentum, a 16-track collaboration of short, sweet introspective tracks. On the A side, eight tracks feature the vocals of Erikson, while the B side is called Unannounced and features Mario Dell aka AC Pull.

Metro Times caught up with Erikson to discuss the lyrics, beats, and motivation behind a few of the album's tracks.

Blue Butter

Metro Times: Like most of the production on this project, “Blue Butter” has this melodic boom-bap jazzy vibe to it. Is that by design? What made you guys go in this direction as far as the sound?

Erikson: I fell in love with that track as soon as I heard it! But nah, at Butter Made we never EVER say we're going to do a boom-bap, jazzy, country, etc. album. We just do what feels good to us.

Masonic Temple

MT: “In the chamber of reflection they follow rituals/images and symbols seems to be unholy. The public idolize figureheads, infatuated with power ... ” This cut feels like it’s about people worshiping false figureheads.

Erikson: Wow, you have the version with the lyrics. The version we've been sending out has the lyrics real faint, almost like a background vocal. So there are some versions of the album that are different than others. Dakim (Dak) always does shit like that and doesn't tell us.

Legendofthedrunklegend


MT: “Jim Bean daydream elevates the bloodstream.” This is a cool cut. Are you being real or sarcastic regarding your relationship with alcohol?

Erikson: I was just having fun with this one. Dakim wasn't super fond of this beat and didn't really want to use it, so I just made sure that I kept a decent tempo and delivery on that joint.

Nascar pt 2 and pt 3


MT: Why the Nascar overall analogy?

Erikson: It works! I feel on these cuts you go extra hard on the word play and wit. Since I had the line "I'm Jimmy Johnson in a fast car, NASCAR" I thought it just fit. Plus I was out of breath after I finished my verse. There's actually a pt. 1, which is my favorite version but Dakim remixed it and didn't tell me.

[email protected]

MT: Feels retrospective. You kind of talk around some of your past mistakes and experiences. Was there a specific experience that made you want to create this?

Erikson: Gotta credit my man Hugh Whitaker for that title. We were all kinda going through some depressing times back then. That joint is definitely the truest shit I ever wrote. Was facing jail time, couldn't find a full time job, trying to raise my son... I had a lot on my plate.

Jenny Davis


MT: This is obvious a dedication right? Can you tell us more about her?

Erikson: Jenny was a girl who went to the same church as I did. She always had jokes and kept people laughing. It was tough listening to this song during playback — I cried a little bit.

Dduty

MT: Short and sweet, 60 seconds. A lot of these cuts are quick one or two minute hitters. Why they short cuts instead of longer ones?

Erikson: We have a lot of short cuts not necessarily by design. But as crew, we never believed that tracks have to have a certain formula. The whole 16 bars, hook, 16 bars, hook is so formulaic. Just go where the music takes you. Say what you say and be out.

MT: Any other cuts you want to speak on? Other songs on the project?

Erikson: "Out of Orbit," I swear the first time I heard that, I thought Baatin snuck in the booth. I don't know if AC did that on purpose but 'Tin had a lot of influence on us style-wise and approach-wise. "Games Have Rules," that was a track that I had on a burned CD for years but like many other cuts by AC, I didn't know the name of it. Me and Blake Eerie used to ride around with that joint blastin'! "Clutch hitter," I absolutely love that cut. Very introspective. He touched on a lot of key points. That joint is like my breakfast motivational cut.

MT: What label is this project out on?

Erikson: We were going to just release it on our own as a Butter Made Records project... but it was released as joint project by Fifty Records (Australia) via Butter Made.

About The Author

Kahn Santori Davison

Kahn Santori Davison is from Detroit, Michigan. He's a husband and father of four and a self-described, "Kid who loves rap music." He's been featured on Hip-Hop Evolution and Hip-Hop Uncovered. He's also a Cave Canem fellow, author of the poetry book Blaze (Willow Books), a recipient of a 2015 Kresge Literary...
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